Xishiku Catholic Church

Address: No.33 Xishiku St. Xicheng Dis
Tel: 86-10-66175198
Website: None
Entrance Fee: 0RMB
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Xishiku Cathedral (or Beitang, “North Church” in Chinese, as it is also known), located in Xicheng District, is the grandest and most ornate church in Beijing. It is a cathedral belonging to the Catholic denomination and is currently the location of the Beijing Cardinal Bishop Office. It is affiliated to the Patriotic Catholic Church of China, a body with several major differences to the official Roman Catholic Church.
The church was originally built by the Jesuits (a Catholic order) in 1703 near Zhongnanhai, on land granted to them by the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1910) after he had been successfully treated for a serious illness by the Jesuits. The calligraphic couplets and plaque located at the cathedral door were written by the emperor himself.
In 1887 the cathedral was moved to its present location as the Emperor Guangxu wished to build a park at Zhongnanhai, an area now used as the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party and formerly home to leading Communists like Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai. The cathedral was redesigned by Bishop Pierre Favier in a Gothic style with a marble facade. Bishop Favier is also famed for successfully defending the cathedral and over 3000 Chinese Catholic converts from 10,000 Boxers, who had besieged it during the Boxer Uprising in 1900.

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